Grand Hotel Continental Siena – Starhotels Collezione is a luxury 5-star hotel in the historical centre of Siena. Located in a 17th-century building, the award-winning luxury hotel in Siena is just 250 metres from Piazza del Campo.
Grand Hotel Continental Siena features elegant suites with frescoed ceilings, ornate ballroom, sun-soaked cocktail bar, fine dining restaurant and lauded wine cellar decorated with thousands of Tuscany’s best bottles.
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Grand Hotel Continental Siena’s History
The Grand Hotel Continental Siena is the only 5-star luxury hotel located in the heart of Siena. Formerly Palazzo Gori Pannilini, the boutique hotel sits perched over Piazza Salimbeni.
The landmark hotel earned the appellation grand in 1904, when the queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, chose it as her residence. To this day, visitors can see a plaque in the palazzo commemorating her first stay at the hotel.
Over the centuries the hotel has served other elite clientele such as German politician Hoerst Koehler and entertainers such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Mario Botta, Andrea Bocelli and Daniel Craig.
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Originally built in 1501, the building originally belonged to the Montanini family and then passed to the Aringhieri. In 1522, the building was considerably expanded thanks to Paul Salvetti. The palace was not renovated until 1677 by architect Carlo Fontana, according to Pope Alexander VII Chigi’s wishes on the occasion of his niece Olimpia’s wedding. From that celebratory moment onwards, the building was known by locals in Siena as Palazzo Gori Pannilini.
After World War II the property changed ownership numerous times and faced a constant decline. Today’s iteration of the Grand Hotel Continental Siena opened its doors on February 14, 2002, as the first and only 5-star luxury hotel in the city.
New Era of Glamour at Grand Hotel Continental Siena
Today, the 17th-century palace continues to attract elite visitors with its Renaissance architecture and 51 rooms and suites adorned with original frescoes and priceless antiques.
Sapordivino is the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, serving a Tuscan inspired brunch buffet to guests each morning. At night the best restaurant in Siena illuminates with the flicker of candles as a parade of pretty plates dance through the contemporary Tuscan kitchen.
Directly between the hotel’s lobby and restaurant is a sky-high glass ceiling. The grand space offers a splash of sun into the hotel’s intimate cocktail bar, making you feel as though you’re sitting on an al fresco patio.
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The most jaw-dropping space inside the hotel is Salone delle Feste, a Renaissance jewel, perfect for hosting intimate weddings, special ceremonies or celebratory corporate cocktail hours.
The hotels’ hidden gem is its 3,000-bottle wine cellar, discovered in the base of a medieval tower during a recent renovation. Grand Hotel Continental Siena’s intimate wine cellar offers oenophiles an excellent library to sip through some of Tuscany’s most celebrated bottles.
Grand Hotel Continental Siena Accommodation
Siena’s best luxury boutique hotel features 51 well-appointed rooms and suites. Each room is outfitted with Carrara-marble bathrooms, Chinese porcelain lamps, original frescoes painted on vaulted ceilings and Tuscan cotto tiled floors.
All of the rooms at Grand Hotel Continental in Siena are luxuriously appointed with antique paintings, crystal chandeliers and decorative drapes. The richly adorned interiors feature a range of colours and opulent furnishings, such as canopy beds and antique armchairs. You’ll also find a touch of modern culinary convenience with Illy coffee machines available in each suite.
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Proving Grand Hotel Continental in Siena’s attention to service is a step above the rest, all guests have access to the Handy Smartphone service. Handy Smartphones are available in each suite and offer guests the possibility of having a free and unlimited internet connection and international calls during the duration of their stay.
Looking to enjoy a special romantic getaway in Siena? The hotel’s rooms manager suggests the perfect suite, “The most magical room is the Deluxe with Terrace, especially during the summer season. This is the only room with a full terrace overlooking the Siena rooftops and monuments, offering a sitting table and deck chairs for relaxing. It is ideal for dinner at sunset and evening drinks under the stars!”
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The Bar at Grand Hotel Continental Siena
The Lounge Bar by Sapordivino is located in the hotel’s intimate courtyard, directly between the fine dining restaurant and lobby.
The sky-high space features a glass ceiling, which on a sunny day offers a splash of natural light into the palace’s central space. Skip through the interior and you’ll find plush couches, glowing lamps that hang from intricate ironwork and an eye-catching, oversized Roman numeral clock face.
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Every Thursday the Lounge Bar hosts “Aperitivo Divino,” an aperitivo hour featuring live music, petite buffet and tasting of three wine labels from that week’s dedicated winery.
The hotel’s mixologist explains his cocktail philosophy, “There is local production of gin in Tuscany – Gin Senensis or Gin Peter in Florence and the Winestillery, which produces gin, vodka and vermouth in the Chianti Classico wine region. We love to mix these local products into cocktails for our guests. The hotel bar also offers a great selection of international cocktails. Unique to our bar in Siena is the P31 Spritz, where P31 is a liquor produced from a selection of 40 herbs and with a bright green colour.”
Sienese cuisine sums up all of Tuscany’s best flavours and ingredients. The art of Sienese contemporary culinary stylings is on full display at Grand Hotel Continental Siena’s Sapordivino Restaurant.
The hotel’s signature fine dining restaurant is attached to the indoor courtyard of the 17th-century palazzo on the ground floor. Chef Luca Ciaffarafà’s seasonal menu showcases the simplicity of Tuscan cuisine by highlighting unique ingredients native to the region. You’ll always find a typical selection of top quality Tuscan charcuterie, pecorino cheeses from Pienza or the highly esteemed saffron from San Gimignano.
Sapordinvo’s Restaurant Manager highlights the chef’s two most popular signature dishes, “The Val D’Orcia spaghetti from with roe sauce and the Peposo, a beef stew with black pepper served with stone ground polenta.”
Sapordivino Restaurant Menu
- Sienese Pici: summer truffle and pecorino cream
- Zucchini Flowers: stuffed with potatoes, green beans, warm greet tomato coulis
- Buffalo Mozzarella: watermelon, balsamic vinegar glaze, flaxseed crackers
- Chianina Tartare: anchovy ice cream, almonds, caper mayonnaise
- Risotto: olive oil, parmesan, creamy yolk, asparagus, crispy ham chips
- Cinta Sienese Pork: eggplant fondant, plums, hazelnuts
- Beef Medallion: tarragon zabaglione, spinach, pine nuts, raisins
Breakfast at Grand Hotel Continental Siena
Hotel guests gather each morning in the main dining room to indulge in a decadent American-style brunch buffet.
The breakfast includes a vast variety of sweet and savoury options, such as fresh fruit, selection of nuts and dried fruit, cereals, honey comb, marmalades, fruit and natural yogurts, fruit juices, morning mint water, selection of breads, salads, cherry tomatoes, cream cheese, mozzarella, ricotta cheese, sliced cheeses, cold cuts, salmon, turkey slices, homemade cakes and tarts, pastries, scrambled eggs, omelettes, bacon, sausages and prosecco!
Brunch at Grand Hotel Continental Siena is available to outside guests at 26 Euros per person.
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Wine Cellar by Sapordivino
Located under the hotel’s eponymous restaurant, Wine Cellar by Sapordivino houses a 3,000-bottle ode to Tuscany’s best wine makers.
Grand Hotel Continental Siena’s wine cellar is located in the base of the hotel’s medieval tower, excavated in the ancient Pietra di Torre, a Sienese cavernous limestone. Its thick stone walls, dating back to the 13th century, combined with modern elements such as glass and steel on the design of famed wine expert Luca Maroni, house a vast collection of fine Italian labels.
Sapordivino’s sommelier notes, “We have 450 labels! The Wine Cellar collects from over 52 wineries which allows us to propose a different winery every week. It’s important to note that Siena is the Italian province which counts the most DOCG wines. Certainly the Black Rooster Chianti Classico and the Brunello di Montalcino are the most renowned.”
Guests can select from two tutored tastings, offered each day at 4pm and 8pm on reservation by the hotel’s expert sommelier:
- Tasting 3.0: selection of 3 types of wines from the cellar paired with local charcuterie, cheeses and goose terrine. 35 Euro per person.
- Tasting 5.0: selection of 5 types of wines from the cellar paired with local charcuterie, cheeses, goose terrine and Tuscan soup. 50 Euro per person.
Best Siena Tours
- Siena Guided Walking Tour – Maximize time in Siena with a guided walking tour through the medieval city streets. Explore a local district, called a Contrada, and learn about Siena’s famous Palio horse races.
- Siena Vespa Tour Including Lunch at a Chianti Winery – See the hills of Tuscany in true Italian style with this action-packed day trip on a Vespa scooter from Siena.
- Tuscan Cooking Class in Central Siena – Learn to cook five to six traditional Italian dishes with this Tuscan cooking class in Sienna.
Via Banchi di Sopra, 39-0577-56011
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